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An invertebrate animal belonging to a group of phyla that are distinguished by the lack of a well-developed coelom and blood vessels. Most aschelminths are minute wormlike animals, including the nematode worms, rotifers, and water bears.
- ‘Clearly, the status of several traditional ‘aschelminthes’ groups awaits further confirmation.’
- ‘An alternative explanation is that it was a kind of aschelminth (pseudocoelomate worm), as indicated for example by its asymmetrical mouth.’
- ‘Since aschelminths all lack substantial hard parts, their fossil record is extremely spotty.’
From modern Latin Aschelminthes (former phylum name), from Greek askos sac + helminth worm (from the former belief that animals of this group had a fluid-filled internal sac).
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